What a week(end)… but not in “that” sense… :-)
It started last week with the high band Yagis. Windstorm killed the rotator mast back in April. The plan was to lift them back on Friday before the contest allowing me to enter SOAB. This is what you would not like to see when you have such an ambition:
In general the weather was pretty dry considering it’s almost December but for the 16t crane a minimal moisture was too much to climb the anyways not that steep hill. So the Yagis are grounded until spring…
FT1000MP > AL-811 500W > full size 1/4 elevated vertical with 2 elevated radials
This was the first SOA40m effort in CQWWCW and was impressive to see that the band is almost open for 48 hours. The stations literally was sitting in every 200Hz but had no issues with the QRM.
The contest fun overall was great. It started pretty well with a 123 Q/first hour rate but the rain static made the first 6 hours really difficult. It was “own goal” not preparing with RX antenna… After the sunrise the EU stns made me busy. Good to hear so many DL and UR stations calling endlessly. I had a 20 mins nap @11UT but woke up by myself and felt relaxed even for the rest of the 36 hours.
It must have been a temp brain-storm but I started to S&P again with really low rates. After the sun went down the noise built up again and made the reception hard. Could not really find a good spot to call CQ but there was not that many NA stations either. The 2nd night was a real die hard part.
But the real surprise came ~12 UT on Sun. Out of the sudden a massive 100km/h wind started to abuse the vertical which was rather yet in prototype status regarding its guying. After couple of 10mins I looked out the window and saw this:
No, this was not the operational shape. Tried to pull it back but the wind was too strong could not recover. So the contest was over loosing 12+ hours of good eastern opening and even with some more to NA as well. I’m sure I could have reached ~2100 in total by the end.
I salute to the operators of mults/double mults. After a cluster spot a bunch of callers fell to the frequency made their life pretty hard as there was no real politeness from the caller side. Have to mentions that 5H3EE made a great choice with going to split. There was no difficulties to copy him but I could not eally go through despite even to the 500W. After a while I gave up the mult hunting as I could be more productive to make 3 other DX contacts in 1/10 of time trying to catch a double mult. This way I lost z36, 37 and 38 as well. Yes, I heard TT8AO on the band true for only a very short time.
I’m kinda happy with the final score at least I can bring that positive that there is potential to utilize next time.
Wanted to fix all antennas but ended up killing the last usable one as well…